United Airlines suspends its routes to Japan amid coronavirus outbreak

Published on : Saturday, February 29, 2020

United Airlines said that the company is suspending all its routes to Japan as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the island nation continue to rise. It is the first United States carrier to make broader cuts to service in Asia because of the virus.


The routes between Tokyo and United States hubs in Los Angeles and Houston would be temporarily canceled starting March 3rd through April 24th, the airline said. The once-daily Newark to Tokyo route would be reduced to just five times a week starting March 28th through April 24th. And the Honolulu to Tokyo flight will be downgraded from a Boeing 777-200 to a smaller 787-8 aircraft starting in April.


The flights to South Korea and Singapore are also being downgraded. United Airlines is offering to waive change fees and refund travel to and from select cities. They stay in close contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations as they continue to evaluate our schedule.


Delta Air Lines is currently operating a normal schedule to Japan, a spokesperson said. A spokesperson for American Airlines said they were closely monitoring the situation.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that older travelers and people with underlying health issues should consider postponing nonessential travel. The State Department issued a warning that mirrors that of the CDC —to “exercise increased caution, not cease travel.”


The three major carriers have already temporarily suspended flights to China where the vast majority of novel coronavirus cases are. United Airline said that flights to China would be suspended until the end of April.


The people with travel plans to Italy are also being urged to reschedule their flights. United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Airline are offering travel waivers amid an outbreak of the virus in that country. All three airlines said they are waiving change fees for travelers who reschedule their trips to Italy.


As of Friday, the novel coronavirus had claimed the lives of 15 in Italy and infected more than 655 in the country. The virus has so far killed over 2,800 around the globe and sickened more than 83,000.


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